External cephalic version at term using broad criteria: Effect on mode of delivery

R. Mashiach*, M. Hod, B. Kaplan, S. Friedman, J. Ovadia, A. Schoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We sought to determine whether external cephalic version (ECV) with tocolytic agents in term patients with breech presentation could safely reduce the incidence of breech-related cesarean sections and vaginal breech deliveries. Four hundred and thirty-two patients with breech presentation at term who fulfilled broad criteria for attempted ECV and a control group of 330 patients with breech presentation at term in whom ECV was not attempted, were retrospectively reviewed. ECV was attempted following an infusion of ritodrine hydrochloride, using either the back flip of Saling and Muller-Holve or the classic forward roll. Following successful ECV, an infusion of oxytocin was administered to fix the head in the pelvis. Of the 432 patients, 311 (72%) underwent successful ECV; 86% delivered vaginally. Cesarean sections were performed in 76% of the patients with unsuccessful ECV and in 64% in whom the version was not attempted (control group). We conclude that ECV at term, using tocolytic agents, when applied to a broad spectrum of patients, is a safe and useful procedure for reducing the incidence of breech presentation, and as a direct consequence, for reducing the incidence of cesarean sections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Breech
  • External cephalic version
  • Term pregnancy


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